Baidu

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may ditch Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) for a more popular search engine, at least in China. Reports indicate that Apple may use Baidu as the primary search engine for iPhones.

Baidu.com, Inc. (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU) is one of the largest search engines in China. This search engine  up to about eighty percent of the country’s search engine queries, a significantly larger number compared to Google’s number which is 16.6. These numbers are probably not the only reason why Apple wants to replace Google’s search engine. It seems that the company has been long searching for ways to completely cut ties with the maker of their biggest competitor on the market Android.

It’s predicted that although Baidu will eventually become the default search engine for China’s iPhones, Google will probably still remain default for awhile at least.

This move could benefit Baidu in a big way. Madhouse, Inc chief executive Joshua Maa predicts the search engine’s wireless advertising business could get a significant boost in sales. China’s middle class segment is growing and this provides a huge opportunity for Apple to utilize a popular search engine in one of their own products. It’s also a nice gesture that makes it more convenient for iPhone users to use their favorite search engine rather than a global search engine.

Apple’s search engine change will only affect China’s iPhones. So far there are no reports of similar changes elsewhere. This news does leave some of us wondering if Apple will switch default search engines for iOS programs in the near future.

The world’s most valuable company is reportedly ditching Google maps for their own in-house maps program. The official announcement is expected to come during the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) next week in San Francisco. In the meantime, Google announced their plans to revamp Google Maps to feature 3D views and offline viewing capability.